Clementines are a hybrid citrus — a cross between mandarins and sweet, or conventional, oranges.
These small, easy-to-peel fruits have a sweet, juicy flesh and less acidity than typical oranges.
A user-friendly fruit, the clementine has shown strong performance on menus over the past four years.
On menus, clementines most often are incorporated in salads and appetizers. However, they also can help add a bright note to chicken and fish dishes and are finding a place in refreshing, citrus-y cocktails.
This Flavor of the Week is well-known among American restaurant-goers — a full 64% of consumers have tried it, according to the market research firm Datassential, and nearly 80% know about it. Still, although the citrus hybrid is finding its way onto more menus — particularly at casual-dining independents and progressive fast-casual restaurants — it’s still considered a unique flavor, allowing operators to highlight their creativity.
Click through the slideshow to learn more about clementines, including an idea for the dessert menu.